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Nuclear Power, Economic Development Discourse and the Environment : The Case of India

ISBN: 9780415629164 | 0415629160
Edition: 1st
Format: Hardcover
Publisher: Routledge
Pub. Date: 1/4/2013

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Nuclear power is often characterized as a green technology. Technologies are rarely, if ever, socially isolated artefacts. Instead, they materially represent an embodiment of values and priorities. Nuclear power is no different. It is a product of a particular political economy and the question is whether its political economy is conducive to the challenge of addressing the environmental crisis on a finite, inequitable and shared planet. For developing countries like India who are presently making infrastructure investments that will have long legacies, it is imperative that such investments are those that having wrestled with ecological limits, scale and inequality and proven themselves capable of sufficiency, greater equality and inclusiveness. This book offers a critique of civilian nuclear power as a green energy strategy for India and develops and proposes an alternative synergy for sustainability. It situates nuclear power as a socio-technical infrastructure embodying a particular development discourse and practice of energy and economic development. The book reveals the political economy of this arrangement and examines the latter's ability to respond to the energy-environment crisis. Manu V. Mathai argues that the existing growth-based, highly technology-centric model of organizing economic activity is unsustainable and needs to be reformed urgently. Within this imperative for change, nuclear power in India is found to be and is characterized as an authoritarian technology. Based on this critique the book proposes an alternative arrangement, a synergy of ideas from the fields of economic development, energy planning, science, technology and society studies as well as the political economy of institutional arrangements.


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